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August 4, 2013

Tale of the trail

Event celebrates area Native Americans at Little Turtle

More than 200 years ago, a boy captured and raised as a warrior by Miami Native Americans went on to marry the daughter of Chief Little Turtle — the namesake of one of Logansport’s trail systems and popular event venue. He then went on to fight alongside the Miami against American troops in President George Washington’s campaign to dispel Native Americans from the area in a battle just up the Eel River in Adamsboro.

When Logansport was celebrating its first year as a city in 1838, members of the Potawatomi tribe were being driven out of their homeland. The U.S. military forced them into a nearly 660-mile journey from northern Indiana to Kansas in what would come to be called the Trail of Death.

The recognition of both of these events and a celebration of Native American culture was held Saturday at Little Turtle Waterway. The afternoon-long event included live drum music, an authentic wigwam and speakers with a wealth of knowledge on Native American history and culture.

Joe Krom was at the waterway with copies of his historical novel, “Heart of a Warrior: The True Saga of Sweet Breeze and William Wells,” which tells the story of how Wells was taken from his family in Louisville, Ky., and raised as a Miami warrior before becoming involved in many diplomatic missions between Native Americans and settlers of the then fledgling United States.

The former high school math teacher from Wabash County called working on the book “a hobby” and that he enjoys attending events like the one at Little Turtle Waterway Saturday because they promote local history.

Krom went on to say he didn’t start out to write a book, but rather to satisfy his own curiosity of Wells, which was sparked during his time at Manchester University in North Manchester.

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